Daily Thoughts 4/9/2010
April is National Poetry Month. Take some time to read some poetry. I am going to put up a poetry display today of poetry books. We have two new copies of Nikki Giovanni's collection of poems called Bicycles which is pleasant to read. Tomorrow, April 10, 2-4 p.m. is the day for the poetry reading at the library. Hopefully some people will come to read poetry. I've picked out a few books to show at the beginning including The Collected Poems of Audre Lord, Words in Your Face A Guided Tour of The New York City Poetry Slam, and The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. The April issue of American Libraries has a poster in it for National Poetry month.
We are looking at setting up Overdrive on our webpage. I have to think about it a little bit. I have been reading some more of The Value of Nothing. A lot of it is about enfranchisement of the impoverished into todays market economy. He talks about ways that tomato pickers, people in South African townships, and the very poor can share in the global economy. A lot of it is very social policy oriented, union oriented, and politically left. It has a utopian feel to it.
I finished reading The Value of Nothing on my train ride home. There are parts of it which come across as impractical and even extreme, and other pieces that I can identify with. I like that he describes that many people are looking at Wikipedia and Creative Commons as models for more direct democratic governnance. He also brings up quite a bit about how cap and trade only limits pollution and does not really stop it. There is quite a bit to think on in this book. The beginning is a series of criticisms on objectivist philosophy and laissez faire economics. There are points where he goes too far toward government control of economics. The book is starry eyed enough in its thinking to be impractical at points and can get fairly radical. I will write a review soon.
I am looking at Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. Apparently it made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list. There is also a sequel, Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates Using Philosophy (And Jokes!) to Explain Life, Death, The Afterlife, And Everything Else in Between.
I also read a bit of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar on the train. The jokes are more moral vignettes than true jokes. They are the kind of stories you use to make a small point with humor. They cover different philosophical subjects like metaphysics, inductive logic, and epistemology. Some of the jokes are a bit ribald. A good example from the book is, The Optimist says, "The glass is half full." The pessimist says, "The glass is half empty." The rationalist says, "The glass is twice as big as it needs to be." They make you think.